Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East to be put in charge of Arctic matters
During a meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin backed his proposal to give the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East additional authority to deal with matters concerning the Arctic. The transcript of the discussion is available on the Russian Government's official website.
"It so happened that there is no designated Government body for coordinating these activities. <…> To make this work in the Government systematic, I suggest that we expand the powers of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East to include Arctic issues. If we do this, we will not need to create a new management body, while the ministry will be charged with supervising our efforts in the Arctic zone of the Far East. In my view, it is quite logical since the Ministry for the Development of the Far East currently deals with the development of the Far Eastern zone that adjoins the Arctic," Dmitry Medvedev said.
The Prime Minister suggested that the ministry be renamed Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Zone or the Arctic. Vladimir Putin supported the idea. In reply to the President's question about the expediency of setting up a separate ministry, Mr Medvedev proposed saving on administrative and financial resources.
"The Ministry for the Development of the Far East is concerned with related issues because the Far East includes a considerable part of the Arctic. If we expand its powers, we will be able to deal with these issues directly at the Government. I would also suggest that we create the post of First Deputy Minister who will be directly responsible for the Arctic," Mr Medvedev said.
Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev told TASS later that the Ministry for the Development of the Far East will be expanded after it assumes responsibility for matters regarding the development of the Arctic zone.